Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Today brought to you by the letter T


I recently purchased the Alphabet Drills book by Nancy Gyes and it has totally changed my life. Well, not quite; it has revolutionized our training sessions.

The book is simply beautiful and the drawings are pretty easy to understand.  I do spend a lot of time thinking, "No way can we do that!"  Turns out we can, the the exercises are pretty much broken down from easy to complex.

We started working on the letter T which was covered in our class a couple of months ago.  It was nice to be challenged by a few complex additions to the easy exercise.

All the students in our Agility class purchased this book, which our instructor totally appreciates. She just emails us the letter of the week and we all come prepared and know what to expect in class.  This week we are working on the letter M.

I totally love this book and I see myself using it for quite a long time.

It also comes with a CD that includes a trial of Clean Run Course Designer.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday Morning Rituals

As a child Sunday mornings were filled with family rituals, Church in the morning followed by a special family breakfast.  Marley's Sunday mornings are also filled with special rituals.

We begin our day the usual way with a walk and breakfast.  A nap is a huge priority after breakfast and normally Marley curls up on my pillow for a rejuvenating nap.  Sundays are not very rejuvenating because while I know she sleeps on my pillow she is not allowed on the furniture.  So, I pretend I don't know and she jumps off as soon as she hears me walking in that direction.

After our "pretend the dog isn't on the furniture" game we jump into the car for a fun trip at the Farmers Market.  We are very fortunate our local Farmers Market allows dogs.

Today we spotted the largest turnips I have ever seen, They are larger than Marley's head. The carrots next to the turnips are mini carrots (about 5") in length.

We always check out the pomegranate products, which are simply divine.  Marley is not very impressed because I haven't given her a sample.

We check out the pumpkins, which Marley loves and I'm sure she wants me to buy her one to smash into her dinner.

Our favorite stop was at the Sheep Farm booth.  They sell wool, spring lambs and eggs, unfortunately I do not recall the name of the Farm.  Marley is always hopeful some juicy lamb will be delivered into her dinner bowl.

After shopping for veggies and fruits we usually do something fun; Today there was a Celtic Festival and we attended for a bit. The band was great and they played some of my favorites.

A fun feathered friend enjoyed the music. 

I have fond memories of my childhood Sundays and I love the way Marley has simply enhanced my current Sunday rituals.  I may just have to buy her the pumpkin next week. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Animal Rescue Challenge 2011!

In Support of Adopt a Shelter Dog Month.  I found a contest that will provide the following prizes to a Shelter or Rescue operation.

The Animal Rescue Challenge!

  • The Grand Prize: One $5,000 grant! 
  • Heartwarming Story Contest: Three $2,000 grants! 
  • State Winners*: Fifty-one $1,000 state grants (50 U.S. states and Washington D.C.) 
  • Canadian Winners*: One $1,000 grant will be awarded. 
  • International Winner*: One $1,000 grant will be awarded. 
  • Weekly Winners* Eleven $1,000 grants will be awarded, one for each week of this voting round of the Shelter Challenge.
How Cool is that!  Voting started on October 3, 2011 and runs until December 18, 2011.

Many Shelters are currently under funded and they desperately need funds to continue the vital work they do for their communities. Voting every day is such an easy way to win our shelter some much needed funds.

Voting is really easy, go to the Animal Rescue Site (this link will take you directly to the voting page).
  • Enter the name of your favorite Shelter or Rescue Organization.
  • Enter the County, State and or City.
  • Hit Search
  • Verify your shelter 
That is it!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Tiger Hosts a Great Party

We went to the most fabulous party, the food was simply amazing.  Marley and I are both recovering from eating tri-tip, stuffed cabbage, chicken, salads and too many deserts.  Yes, you may have noticed I said "Marley and I" are recovering,  "Little Miss My Mommy Never Feeds Me" managed to mooch food from everybody.

Tiger was not sure how he felt about all the dogs invading his backyard.  I believe he thinks dog park hooligans are nothing but trouble, except for the puppy.

Baby Rose was spoiled rotten by everybody.  She is the sweetest puppy I have ever met.  At 10 weeks she weighs 4lbs more than Marley and her paws are simply ginormous.

Marley and Axle spent some time scoping out the yard for their super secret special event.

Black Dog Convention, I'm not quite sure what they discussed but it was pretty intense.

Cleo didn't attend the Black Dog Convention;  she is above any Black Dog Shenanigans.  Actually, I think she is trying to convince everybody she's a superior human.

The party was so much fun the goats next door wanted to attend. 

After an afternoon of playing and plotting everybody was ready for a nap.

Thank you Leah and Mike for hosting such a Marvelous event. I loved the food, the company was phenomenal and the conversations were lively.  

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Five Reasons I Celebrate Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

"Now is a good time  for a walk"
My shelter dog has brought a great deal of joy into my life and has altered my life in ways I couldn't have imagined.

Top 5 reasons I celebrate my shelter dog:

  1. Parks are no longer the domain of families and kids, I've developed a greater appreciation for the use of parks and green spaces.
  2. My neighbors all know us and stop to chat, which provides us a greater sense of community.
  3. Nothing beats playing soccer in the rain with my dog, while normal people are warm and dry indoors.
  4. Squirrel hunting is an activity I never thought I would enjoy. 
  5. Nobody thinks I'm totally crazy when a talk about "dogs."

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Jo Sermon Seminar

Last week I attended a seminar on Extension and Collection.  I learned a lot about jumping.  Actually, I'm a bit overwhelmed by how much I don't know and didn't know I needed to know.  Jo Sermon is a fabulous instructor, both funny and informative.

Some of the things I found amazing:

  • Dogs are taught Left and Right.  Good Grief, I forget which way is left and  which way is right, how do people teach this fabulous skill?  I suspect, I'll be the dorky person with the letters L and R on my shoes.
  • A lot of dogs in the seminar know Turn as a cue.  Amazing, I didn't even know I needed a cue for turning.
  • Jumping can be a dangerous activity.  Allowing your dog to jump incorrectly can cause long term damage to their bodies.  After learning this I started to panic, I've only focused on getting my dog to jump on cue never thinking about how she is jumping.  
After the seminar I must have looked a bit shell-shocked because our instructor came up to me and reassured me Marley was doing fine.

Odd things I've noticed:  
  • Is there an unspoken rule that all dog trainers are blond?  Our obedience instructor, our current agility instructor, Jo Sermon, Jen Pinder, Nancy Gyes, Susan Garrett...
  • Whenever I'm around somebody from England for more than a couple of hours, it rains.